Last night Elon Musk tweeted the above teaser photo saying that in one week’s time, the Tesla D and “something else” will be revealed at the Paris Auto Show. So what the hell is the Tesla D? I have a few ideas.
Judging from the teaser picture, the Tesla D (Model D?) is almost certainly a Tesla Model S variant, as the sloping headlights and wide mouth grille are pretty dead giveaways. With that in mind, I am going to hedge my bets and say the Tesla D is perhaps a sportier performance variant of the Model S.
With some modifications to the drivetrain and battery pack, Tesla could address the lackluster track performance many Model S owners are experiencing. The teaser picture also seems to have an aggressive chin spoiler, the kind you see on high performance track vehicles, and it also seems to be a lot closer to the ground too. While the Saleen FourSixteen Model S has met with mixed responses, an in-house performance Model S could accomplish a lot more than what Steve Saleen and his crew have, and for a lot less money. To me this seems as the most likely scenario, but not the only one.
Earlier in the year I was tipped off by a Tesla insider that a stretched version of the Model S was in the works. While nominally aimed at the Chinese market, where buyers pay a premium price for extra rear legroom, Europe would be another market for essentially a stretched Tesla limo/livery vehicle. Royalty loves to be carted around in what amounts to the latest and greatest in green luxury vehicles.
A third and final option, one that would make a great deal of sense give the European debut? A Model S shooting brake, or as we know it here in America, a station wagon. Remember how enthusiastic people were for the Fisker Karma Surf shooting brake? Now picture a Model S version. Not too shabby, right? Another possibility is a two-door Model S, something you can only get right now if you shell out $35,000 to a car customizer.
What I doubt is going to happen is the debut of the Model X or Model III, which is undoubtedly what many people are hoping and waiting for. The front end is just too Model S-ish though for it to be anything else if you ask me, but I’ve been wrong before too.
Then there’s Elon Musk’s mention of “something else”, which could be the hinted-at upgrade to the Tesla Roadster battery pack. Musk has mentioned giving Roadster owners up to 400 miles of driving between charges, and there’s a fair number of first-gen Tesla owners spread out across Europe. Paris wouldn’t be the worst place to make just such an announcement. Of course there’s the distinct possibility it could be something else, something totally unexpected.
We’ve got one week to figure it out. What’s your best guess as to what the “Tesla D” is?
About time to unveil the D and something else pic.twitter.com/qp23yi59i6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 2, 2014